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, a she'ite muslim is helping to support the assad regime in syria. now, secretary kerry met with iraqi president nouri al-maliki during a visit in baghdad today. those iranian flights were at the top of the agenda. they had what kerry described as a spirited discussion. here is the secretary. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and you i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad and his regime. >> reporter: the u.s. believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to arm the syrian government but tehran says they are delivering only humanitarian aid there. they wanted to force the planes for inspections but only a few have been checked. >> i think the intent here by going public is to increase the pressure on al-maliki but the whole incident how minimal influence is on the regime in iraq and how minimal our ability to affect the conflict in syria has become. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the flights are taking place just about every day. kerry says the u.s. congress is
simply aren't going to improve the situation. the colonel assad is reportedly in stable condition in turkey after an assassination attempt. he was one of the original founders of the free syrian army but has been somewhat marge alized in recent months. colonel assad has never been able to unite the many different groups fighting the syrian regime of the the attack on his life happened while he was touring a rebel area. there is the possibility that there is internal rebel politics at play though syrian rebels blame syria and the assad government for the attack. in another blow to the opposition, the leading opposition figure, katabi offered his resignation yesterday but it was rejected by rebel leaders. on facebook he said he was resigning due to restrictions on his work. the overall inner workings of the syrian opposition is really, really complicated. as actual fighters fighting in syria simply don't report to the syrian leadership and jenna, this really does remain a fragmented syrian opposition and two years into the civil war, it hasn't really improve many in the internationa
are already the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. i'm confident that assad will go. it is not a question of if. it is when. and so part of what we have to spend a lot of time thinking about is what is the aftermath? for the american people we have to recognize we have a stake here. >> a half million syrian refugees have fled to jordan. a nation already dependent on foreign aid including $13 billion from the u.s. king abdullah says assad's days are numbers but fears islam rule could emerge in its place. chuck todd is traveling with the president and asking the president as many questions as he wants. that's how chuck todd gets down. chuck, i have one question for you. what is going on in your world right now? >> well, it has been a pretty busy day. you brought up the issue of syria and this is classic all politics is local issue when it comes to jordan. this issue of syrian refugees and the economic toll it is taking on the country is clearly the number one item on the king's agenda. he equated it. he made an interesting little parallel. he said they may get
been very clear to the assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus. that would change my question. >> just a few minutes ago senators mccain and graham issued a statement saying if today's reports are substantiated the president's red line has been crossed and we'd urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised. where we're in the process and what if they did use chemical weapons? >> well, jake, we take all of these reports very, very seriously. as you heard in the president's voice just now and you saw in his presentation to the white house press corps and to the world we are going to be very clear to the syrian regime as we have been throughout and to all the syrian supporters throughout the world and then obviously to our partners in the tlanlg regit if this is substantiated it does suggest as the president just said this is a game changer and we'll act accordingly. you ask what if. i'm not going to get
to the syrian army through iraqi air space. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic. and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are, in fact, helping to sustain president assad. there are members of congress and people in america who increasingly are watching what iraq is doing, and wondering how it is that a partner in the efforts for democracy and a partner for whom americans feel they have tried so hard to be helpful, how that country can be, in fact, doing something that makes it more difficult to achieve our common goals. >> nbc's mike taibbi is live for us in akabul, afghanistan. mike, let's talk. this is not a photo op. this is some tough talk from john kerry. how is it being received? >> well, it has been tough talk from secretary of state john kerry, and you wonder how spirited the discussions are going to be with afghan president hamid karzai. they're meeting and now there will be a joint press conference later. the two men know each other. kerry has made five previous trips here when he was a senator. but there have been strained rel
, to prop up assad in syria and that this is something that americans and the congress, that the administration, cannot understand or tolerate, and as kerry told us afterwards, it was a very spirited conversation, because he got a lot of pushback from maliki. maliki argued that assad is facing extremists in this country. so he basically, even though he's not terrible sympathetic with assad politically, assad staying in power is very important for maliki's domestic politics because he fears a takeover by the rebels would actually lead to rebellion fact. the message from kerry was pretty tough. that congress is losing patience with iraq and that maliki will not have any role in the political decisions to come once assad falls with this pll political transition being worked out with international leaders, if he continues to help iran prop up assad. >> there are reports also that the head of the syrian opposition coalition reports that he resigned this post at some point today. what do we know about that, and what kind of complications could that present for the united stat
or others. he believes that we need to change president assad's calculation. >> there has been disagreement in the past in, within the cabinet. we now know that hillary clinton and the c.i.a. director and others wanted some, and the defense team as well, leon panetta, wanted to arm the rebels. the president is still dead set against that. we don't know where secretary kerry comes down. is this an issue where the president is going to have to move under pressure from allies? >> i think this is an issue that the people at the white house wrestle with every single day. the human cost of assad's actions are horrific. and we struggle with the human toll and hearing these stories from the region, about innocent people that are suffering. so what the president has done is rejected this notion that either we arm them or we're not supporting them. there's been enormous diplomatic effort put behind helping the opposition. there's been considerable money, hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian relief and nonlethal assistance to the opposition. we simply haven't taken a step towards a military
to president assad accused each other of firing chemical weapons that syrian state tv has said killed at least 25 people in the north of the country. the white house sounded a skeptical note but warned against any further escalation of violence. >> on that specific allegation, we have no evidence to substantiate the charge that the opposition has used chemical weapons. we are deeply skeptical of a regime that has lost all credibility and we would also warn the regime against making these kinds of charges as any kind of pretext or cover for its use of chemical weapons. >> but, of course, the other pressing issue for the international community is iran and its nuclear ambitions. despite years of severe economic sanctions, and continued pressure from the united nations, iran still seems intent on developing its nuclear capability. in an interview specially recorded for israeli tv in preparation for his visit, the president was unequivocal in his commitment to preventing a nuclear iran. >> when i'm consulting with beebee as i have over the last few years on this issue, my message to him will be th
at these reports. press press issued a warning to the assad regime. -- press secretary jay carney. >> i'm not going to discuss intelligence but important as fight in syria intensifies and fighting becomes more desperate that the united states and international community make it absolutely clear to assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable. the president was clear when he said if assad and those under his command use chemical weapons and fail to secure them there will be consequences and they will behold accountable. jenna: joining us is a research fellow at the new american foundation. he has traveled extensively in syria during this conflict many times and we called upon him for his expertise in this part of the world. brock, when you hear the reports come out what should we consider about them. >> first we need to know that the syria has the 30 or fourth largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world. there are the a thousand tons of chemical agents in the past the obama administration will use the them as more and more of the country splits out of the regime contro
and white house press secretary jay carney issued a warning to the assad regime. >> we have no evidence to substantiate the charge that the opposition has used chemical weapons. we are deeply skeptical of a regime has lost all credibility and warn the regime against making these kind of charges as any kind of pretext or cover for its use of chemical weapons. >> neither side of the conflict has provided documentation that chemical agents have been used. senator lindsey graham spoke about the allegations telling foreign policy that quote this. we need to come up with a plan to secure these weapons sites either in conjunction with our partners or, if nothing else, by ourselves. if the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, i vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem. but following intelligence briefings, the chairs of both the house and senate intelligence committee said they believe president bashar al assad has crossed the so-called red line in the civil war. >> i
, he made strong comments regarding syria and president assad. i can't make tough words when you have weak actions. the united states has been absent much to the discredit to the united states and so the president is tough on his rhetoric highlighted the fact he has been very weak on his actions. second of all, the tone of the president's remarks regarding the israeli peace process. he no longer said to the israelis, you have to start by making concessions and you need to get back to the table. he took a much different tone. i thought it was right that he basically said to the palestinians, don't have preconditions. don't make this impossible to begin, but i thought it was most interesting he tried to go around the israeli leadership and said to the israeli people, leaders are never going to act unless you make them act. for a guy that has gone out of his way that we shouldn't be interfering with the interterm affairs of other countries, i thought it was unusual way to undo some of the good that he did at the have a tail end of his visit. he said forget everything i said about develop
to steer syria toward a post assad transition. >> back to israelis and their concerns about president obama, does the president need to simply establish the roots, the ancient jewish claim to this strip of land here? some in israel saying we're not so sure. >> well, certainly. i think that the president has not reached out to the israeli people in ways perhaps his predecessors have. and i think this is an opportunity to kind of reestablish the kind of rapport the israeli people traditionally want to have and need to have with an american president that they have confidence that he has israel's back. the fact is that there has been very significant and deep cooperation institutionally between the united states and israel. probably a more stable, successful relationship than ever before. but there is this lack of rapport between obama and the israeli people. and he'll do his best to reach out. one of the reasons he is speaking to college students and not at the knesset is to go beyond the government and try to establish a much more significant conversation with the israeli people. >> i wish w
massacre of the syrian people by president assad. fortunately, the nuclear capacity was destroyed. unfortunately, the arsenal of chemical weapons remain. we cannot -- those weapons to fall in the terrorist hands. it could lead to an epic tragedy. there was an attempt to bring spring to the arab world. it is an arab choice, it is an arab initiative. it may bring peace to the region, freedom to the people, economic growth to the upstates. if realized, it can lead to a better tomorrow. we pray it will become a reality. i believe the real division is between skeptics and those who believe in peace. your voice will encourage belief. you came to us with a clear message that no one should let skepticism win the day. a vision that says clearly that peace is not only a wish but a possibility. i fully support your call. there is no other way to make the future better. there's no better leader to make it possible. your visit is an historic step in that direction. we shall journey with you all the way. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, thank you, president peres for your very generous wo
the assad regime a warning. >> we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened, what was the nature of the incident, what can we document, what can we prove. so i have instructed my teams to work closely with all other countries in the region and international organizations and institutions to find out precisely whether or not this red line was crossed. once we establish the facts, i have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer. >> reporter: so, chris, the big takeaway of this trip if it ended today is this, the united states and israel are more on the same diplomatic page than ever before on iran. when iran would get nuclear weapons and what the response would be if there's proof that they're pursuing them. two, we're a long ways away from even getting middle east peace negotiations in the talking phase, but there's optimism that at least there may be an attempt to have everybody agree, okay, no preconditions and everybody will sit down. and then of course you heard that syria threat. later today, chris, maybe the most important speech that the obama administr
, egypt, turkey, qatar, it could be as these anti-assad countries sort of alie under one banner -- >> she's right on that. the israelis, the turks, they're all very concerned about this. but i also think we don't know who the opposition is. yes, there are bad actors -- >> we can shape that. >> right. we have no equity, no investment, no shaping, no nothing, we don't really know them. and the fact that all of these bad guys are there, is because of the vacuum that has been created -- exactly. >> you make an excellent point. netanyahu doesn't go around apologizing. >> i'm surprised he did. >> he's not a big -- he realized that israel and turkey have a common, dire problem, the threat of syrian chemical weapons. he had to swallow his pride and say, i'm going to work with this guy on this. >> brought down off the ledge. >> we only have a couple of minutes left. ron, you're and economic expert here, i want to talk for just a minute about cyprus, the idea that tiny nation could set off shock waves for the entire global economy is amazing to a lot of people. on the other hand, when you hear one
on back channels in moscow to get russia and vladimir putin to realize that assad is not around forever and at some point it's time to jump ship and support who is there in the future. my understanding is that doesn't seem to have pushed the russians at all. the russians are still firmly backing assad and don't think this is the time to switch. the alternatives in terms of arming the rebels is really all that the west is now looking at but they still have these reservations that if you give arms to elements of the rebels, how do you know that they don't end up in the hands of the extremis extremists? if america is going to dictate what happens in the future in syria, it needs to have a place at the table. it needs to be able to be part of the discussion and i suspect that will eventually lead to america taking part with a coalition in giving small arms to syrian rebels. >> ron, it's fascinating, that the president goes to israel without a peace plan in his back pocket or without any hopes of a peace plan in his back pocket. almost unprecedented. does this tell us how important iran is n
of saudi arabia have been clamped down because it doesn't serve u.s. interest. >> what assad has done in syria is way worse than what's happening. >> no. let's not equalize them. but it's to make clear that the u.s. doesn't necessarily step in. >> it makes strategic calculations about what its interests are. but in the case of syria the worrying thing about the situation in syria, the first wave of this, particularly tunisia which was entirely nonviolent, the egyptian revolt which was nonviolent although skirmishes and different forms of violence, to the syrian movement which began as nonviolent and faced such massive brutal horrific massacres has armed themselves and has become a long bloody civil war that has profound regional consequences and fear of spilling out and hezbollah looms large. >> wish we had more historical depth how we look at this. this is the third arab state to be devastated by a civil war. without pointing fingers of blame, lebanon for 15 years was devastated by civil war. foreign armies, foreign intelligence services. after the u.s. invasion in 2003 iraq went thr
Search Results 0 to 17 of about 18 (some duplicates have been removed)